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Published September 29, 2014 Updated February 19, 2023

Mongol Playing Cards

Mongol Playing Cards with courts in traditional costume.

1973 Mongolia Piatnik Ethnic & Indigenous Add to Collection

Beautifully illustrated Mongol playing cards made by Piatnik & Söhne AG, Wien, 1973, with courts in traditional costume. The deel, or kaftan, is the Mongolian traditional costume. It is a long, loose gown cut in one piece with a high collar and overlaps at the front. The deel is girdled with a sash. Each ethnic group living in Mongolia has its own deel design distinguished by cut, colour, and trimming. The Culture of Mongolia is a mix of Buddhism and old Soviet, and the Mongol nomadic way of life with influences from Tibet and China. Mongols have a lot of epic heroes from ancient times.

Mongol Playing Cards made by Piatnik & Söhne AG, Wien, 1973

Above: Mongol Playing Cards made by Piatnik & Söhne AG, Wien, 1973.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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